by December 11, 2020
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It is not easy to raise children these days. Pressures and distractions abound and parents, armed with time-saving[1] technologies, have no time at all. So what is the solution to these problems? The Talmud suggests that one who lights Shabbat Candles and Channukah candles will have Talmudic sages as children (a dream for any Jewish parent, at least before lawyers and doctors became a viable option). [2] If only it was that simple! And many Jewish women across history have done these two acts an...
by October 2, 2020
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                Each of the major holidays are linked to the agricultural cycle both in time and in their idea. Passover is linked to the blossoms of spring as the barren ground springs forth with life.  Similarly, the Jewish people who have been downtrodden slaves for 210 years spring back to life to become leaders of an ethical revolution in the world.   Shavuot is linked to the harvest, where after much human exertion and toil the farmer is able to see the efforts of his work. In the same ve...
by September 25, 2020
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If there is one thing the world needs right now, it is healing. Physically and spiritually, the world is lacking wholeness on many levels.  Luckily, tis the season for healing on both of these levels.  We find that repentance and healing are deeply intertwined.  For one, in one of the classic High Holiday prayers, ‘our Father, our King’, the line about repentance is followed immediately with a line about healing.  The Talmud says it even more explicitly, “Rabbi Ḥama bar Ḥanina said: Great is rep...
by September 18, 2020
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Every day in Elul we blow the shofar and each time the sound is somewhat jarring.  Especially now that we gather for daily minyans outside, this is especially so.  Despite being outdoors, with the sound of cars and buses whizzing by, the shofar sound sticks out with its alarming notes even more now that it is contextualized with the normal sounds of the world.  What is unique about this mitzvah? Every mitzvah is associated with an organ. One might think that Rosh Hashanah, as the name indicates...
by May 22, 2020
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Poor Shavuot, it is by and large the least known of our holidays by the extended Jewish people- why? It has a lot stacked against it. For one, it is one day long in contrast to Passover and Sukkot.  But that shouldn’t be damning, as so is Yom Kippur.  However, the other issue is that there is nothing remarkably memorable about the day because there are no actual mitzvot that are specific to Shavuot unlike Yom Kippur which has the funky sneakers and the interminable fast that we dread for months ...
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Rabbi Shlomo Landau began working for Torah Links (the outreach arm of the Lakewood Yeshivah) in the summer of 2000, and he was instrumental in founding Torah Links of Middlesex County located in East Brunswick, NJ. Torah Links of Middlesex County began with a few home-based study groups and has blossomed into a full service kiruv organization serving 400+ Jewish families in the area. From Sunday school to Hebrew High, from numerous daily classes to High Holiday programs, the organization works flat-out to create inspiring programs. The results speak for themselves. Thousands of Jews from all walks of life have been positively impacted by the uplifting and inspiring Judaism provided by Torah Links. In addition, countless individuals and families have found their way back to complete Torah observance, and Torah Links is proud to have graduates of its youth programs in top yeshivos and kollelim. Through Rabbi Landau’s tireless efforts, Torah Links is about to commence construction of the Torah Links of Middlesex County Community Learning Center; a 15,000 sq. foot beautiful state-of-the-art full service Kiruv center. Additionally, since the fall of 2002 Rabbi Landau has been a high school rebbi in various Modern Orthodox yeshivot. He is currently a beloved faculty member of the Ray Kushner Yeshiva High School (located in Livingston, NJ). For over a decade, Rabbi Landau has succeeded in inspiring hundreds of young men to investigate and appreciate Jewish living and learning. Rabbi Landau has built long lasting relationships with very many of his students – relationships that have lasted past graduation and continue to flourish today, when he is often called on to act as ‘mesader kiddushin’ at their weddings.
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"I thought I would do this [ponzi scheme] for just a short time and then extricate myself and my clients from it" —Bernie Madoff, during his sentencing hearing in court. We can imagine the temptation, the first time Madoff's investments turned sour, to use the money from new investors to pay the old. What harm could there be in borrowing in hard times and paying back when things improved? ...
by June 19, 2020
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It is hard to see the world in the way we are supposed to- with a lens of optimism and positivity. This is especially true now with all of the tumult in society today.  But the reality is that it is always challenging to see the world correctly. The Torah records the initial visual impairments when the spies sent to Israel to scour the land.  This one episode led to a thirty eight year extension in the desert.  Apparently, Jewish vision always had its issues.              After a taste of giant...
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Jewish mysticism is often perceived as ethereal abstract and beyond the ken of all but a select few. It is often considered to have little relevance to the day-to-day life of an ordinary Jew. Indeed, the laws and commandments found in the Torah and Talmud which form the framework of Jewish living can be understood and followed without any knowledge of the mystical literature. Chasidic philosophy teaches, however, that there is an essential, fundamental interrelationship between all levels of Jew...
by May 8, 2020
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Jews are credited with a plethora of creativity in the fields of arts, science, economics- basically any field under the sun. Unfortunately, we are not always credited with our most creative and productive work, sanctifying G-d’s name. What does it means to give sanctity to G-d’s name and why is it our most creative work?               To begin, we need a working definition of sanctity.  One way of defining sanctity is the ability to do an act purely for its own sake. In other words, our world ...